Imagine that Americans could come together across political ideologies, economic strata and social boundaries to stage massive nationwide demonstrations, strikes, and university occupation protests in a united effort to resist rampant corporatism, materialistic consumerism, moribund institutions, and the greed of capitalist values in general. Imagine that this extraordinary display of civil unrest brought the USA to a virtual standstill right before the Oscars, so the Academy, in solidarity with leftist protesters, decided to cancel the Oscars altogether that year. Imagine that the Directors Guild then mounted an alternative to Oscar Night, with the intent to honor the best of efforts of independent filmmakers working outside the systemic rot of the industry rut.
Wow, you’ve got a wild imagination. You lost me at “Americans come together across social boundaries.” Anyway, have you never heard of Prozac? Swallow some and settle down.
But protests like this happened all across France in May 1968. Nearly a quarter of the entire population of France took part, and the Cannes Festival was indeed cancelled that year to show support for 11 million French workers who went on strike and millions of students who took to the streets. In reaction, the French Directors Guild founded the Societe des Realisateurs Francais in 1969 as an alternative to the Cannes Festival, and this parallel festival became known as Quinzaine des Réalisateurs — the Directors Fortnight.
Thanks once again to our canny friend Paddy Mulholland for featuring a fine rundown of this years Directors Fortnight lineup at his site, screenonscreen. As Paddy notes, and as we’ve been discussing here at AD overnight, no small amount of controversy surrounds the failure of the Cannes selection committee to include major films by directors Arnaud Desplechin and Miguel Gomes in the main competition next month. Both have found a friendlier and possibly more sophisticated venue to launch their premieres at this year’s Quinzaine. Paddy brings up another significant distinction of the Fortnight slate: They’ve seen fit to feature 3 movies directed by women, and several other films whose stories revolve around women.
- Allende, Mi Abuelo Allende (Marcia Tambutti)
- Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes)
- The Brand New Testament (Jaco van Dormael)
- The Cowboys (Thomas Bidegain)
- Dope (Rick Famuyiwa) – closing film
- Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra)
- Fatima (Philippe Faucon)
- Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier)
- The Here After (Magnus von Horn)
- In the Shadow of Women (Philippe Garrel) – opening film
- Much Loved (Nabil Ayouch)
- Mustang (Deniz Gamze Erguven)
- My Golden Years (Arnaud Desplechin)
- Peace to Us in Our Dreams (Sharunas Bartas)
- A Perfect Day (Fernando Leon de Aranoa)
- Songs My Brothers Taught Me (Chloe Zhao)
- Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld (Miike Takashi) – special screening